Girls Don’t Fart; They Just Explode When They’re Forty

, , , , , , , | Related | April 5, 2021

My sister-in-law has recently started a new job. She and I generally get along, even though she can be a little… odd sometimes. She has a set of rules that she enforces with my niece and nephew. Some make sense; others do not, as you will see.

To help her out, I offer to watch my niece while she works until she is old enough to go to school in a few months’ time. I absolutely adore my niece so I am delighted to get to spend more time with her.

Things seem to go well… or so I thought. My sister-in-law calls and says she’d like to talk to me about something. I suggest she swing by after she finishes work. She agrees.

I’m a little nervous since she sounded a little angry on the phone. I wonder what I could have done wrong. As far as I know, I’ve followed her rules, such as limiting screen time, not letting her watch certain shows, like Spongebob — she thinks the show is inappropriate for children — and not giving my niece too many sweets, etc.

When she arrives, my sister-in-law looks very grim.

Sister-In-Law: “I need to talk to you about something you did.”

Me: “Something I did?”

Sister-In-Law: “Yes. [Niece] told me that while you were watching a movie you… you…”

She looks deeply uncomfortable for a moment. I am fearful of what she is going to say. What horror could I possibly have committed?

Sister-In-Law: “You… passed wind in front of her!”

Me: “Oh, yes, but don’t worry. I made sure to say, ‘Pardon me.’”

My sister-in-law is a real stickler for making sure my niece and older nephew use their manners, which I 100% agree with and support. Like I said, some of her rules make perfect sense. However, you’re about to see one which does not.

Sister-In-Law: “You’re supposed to go to the toilet and do it!”

Me: “What?”

Sister-In-Law: “Girls don’t… pass wind… in public!”

Me: “I wasn’t in public. I was on my sofa. In my living room. In my house.”

Sister-In-Law: “Well, girls shouldn’t do it in front of people!”

Me: “Why not?”

Sister-In-Law: “I’m not going to have this conversation with you. You should know better! From now on, I must insist that you go to the toilet to do your… your business.”

Me: “I don’t agree with it, but if you’d rather [Niece] do that in the toilet, that’s fine. I’ll make sure she does. She’s your kid, not mine, so you can raise her any way you like. But I’m not about to get up to go to the bathroom just to fart in my own home.”

Sister-In-Law: “What do you mean, you don’t agree with it?”

Me: “You’re teaching her to be ashamed of her body’s natural processes. I notice you never make [Nephew] leave the room.”

Sister-In-Law: “He’s a boy.”

Me: “Why should that matter? Everyone farts. It’s a normal, natural part of the human body. I get you might want to limit that sort of thing in certain places. [Brother] and I were always taught never to fart at the dinner table or in enclosed spaces if we could help it, but otherwise, we were free to ‘pass wind’ wherever we needed to. It’s unhealthy to keep it inside.”

My sister-in-law wasn’t having any of it and kept insisting that it was “improper” and “rude” for girls to fart anywhere except the toilet. She hadn’t mentioned this rule at all when I offered to take care of [Niece], which is odd because she listed every other rule. I guess she just assumed this was a rule that all women followed.

In the end, I told her that if she wanted somebody who would go off into another room to “pass wind,” she should start looking for a babysitter or a nanny or something. At this, [Sister-In-Law] relented, but she wasn’t happy about it.

I told [Brother] about it and he said he’d talk to her about it. He had no idea she had been making [Niece] leave the room to fart.

[Niece] continued to come and stay with me, and [Sister-In-Law] didn’t insist that she had to leave the room to pass gas, so maybe [Brother] was able to talk some sense into her.

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